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NATO chief welcomes resumption of exploratory talks between Greece, Turkey

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed the continuation of NATO-brokered talks between Turkey and Greece on a military deconfliction mechanism in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as the resumption on Monday of exploratory contacts between the two Aegean neighbors in Istanbul.

“The de-confliction mechanism has helped to reduce tensions and create the space for political discussions to resolve the underlying issues,” Stoltenberg said after a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Friday.

“I also welcome the exploratory talks taking place in Istanbul next week,” he said.

According to a NATO statement, the two discussed a range of issues, including the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Afghanistan and Libya.

Stoltenberg also “thanked Turkey for its significant contributions to NATO operations and for leading NATO’s high readiness forces in 2021.”

The NATO chief is scheduled to meet with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday.